Why should I use a Travel Agent?
In the technology age of “find it quick and easy on-line”, you may be thinking, why should I use a travel agent? So to help you answer that question here are our favorite reasons:
1. Who Ya Gonna Call? What would you do if the hotel has lost your reservation? What would you do if the car rental agency has run out of cars? What happens if your flight is delayed and you miss your connection, or the airport is closed due to bad weather? Specifically, who are you going to call? Who’s going to help you? Are you going to have to stand in line with 500 other people hoping you can get your flight re booked? The Airline? The hotel? The car rental company? They don’t care. You’re just one person. Losing you as a guest or a customer is no big deal. Basically, you’re on your own. About all you can do is hit the streets and hope that something comes up…
If you book through a travel agent, all you have to do is make one simple phone call. And everything will be taken care of. Will the hotel assist your agent? Will the car rental company assist your agent? Of course they will, because now they’re dealing with someone who has the potential to send either hundreds of guests, or no guests at all. From a purely business perspective, a travel agency can send thousands of dollars (or even tens of thousands of dollars), or no dollars at all…
2. It is not just about price You look to travel agents to provide the best overall solution to your individual travel needs. By asking tons of questions up front, an agent can provide a relevant needs assessment. This can include dates, quality or location of accommodation or stateroom, cancellation policy, recreational amenities, the ease of doing business, etc. No two customers are alike. What works for one customer may not work for another.
3. Show me the Money (I saved) Saving money is not just about price. It is more about value. If the hotel was not in the right location, if the cruise line was not the right cruise line, if the golf course was not the right golf course, it does not matter how much you saved. One can save a ton of money and be miserable or spend a little more to be in heaven. A travel agent can recommend relevant offerings and also provide cost saving strategies. Moving a date, changing the location of a room/cabin, being open to flight options, etc., all can save money. Nobody wants to pay more than necessary so an agent will help you find the best value without the sacrifices of a cheap trip.
4. I already have a Job! If you have an agent that you trust, then you don’t need to spend what little free time you have, scouring the web, trying to piece everything together– flights, cars, rooms, etc. In addition, your agent might be working with transfer and car rental companies that you simply don’t have access to, and in many cases, even hotels and airlines that you don’t have access to. An agent is someone who has taken the time and made the commitment to be the best so you don’t have to make planning your vacation a second job!
OK, Let’s take a look at a real life situation where a Travel Agent could have averted a nightmare:
Tony has gone online to book his cruse vacation in Spain. He purchased his airline tickets and his cruise for two online. He declined the expensive insurance offered by the cruise line that was extremely restrictive, knowing that he would not cancel. On the day his flight was leaving it was a beautiful day at the DFW airport and looked to be the start of a great vacation. They flew from Dallas/Fort Worth to Miami. Once they landed in Miami, they discovered that all the flights were delayed due to weather. Tony and companion were to head on to Spain and catch one more connection to meet the Cruise’s departure port. What they had not considered was if the flight were delayed, they would miss all their connections and the boat. The airline they booked with did not fly direct to the location that the cruise departed from, or any of the other ports at which the cruise would stop. They did not know about getting to their destination 1 day early to avoid these problems and were not offered any other type of insurance.
The Airline did not really care because it was only one or two people; the Cruise line already got their money and could care less. The end result is that they flew back to DFW and a 14-day vacation was lost.
If they had used a Travel Agent they would have known to fly in a day early for any international Cruises, what type of Insurance to buy and why it is important. They would have been notified that their flight was delayed before they left DFW and new arrangements would have been made either prior to their departure or while they were in the air to Miami. No money or time would have been lost. Total loss for this vacation was over 10,000 US dollars.
Here is another situation where a Travel Agent could have prevented another Travel Nightmare:
Floyd was planning an annual trip to visit family in Germany and decided he would look online to find a cheaper fare than going through someone who he knew was a Travel Agent. He did indeed find a cheaper fare and booked it. The flight left DFW in March with a connection in Chicago, before going on to Frankfurt, Germany. Unfortunately, while in the air, the airport was closed due to a spring snowstorm. The flight landed right before the airport was closed, and when he finally exited the plane, there were thousands of stranded passengers. He waited hours in line to get his flights re booked, and then began looking for a hotel to stay over night. All the hotels were booked by that time, and he ended up sleeping on the floor at the Chicago Airport. He had tried to call the Internet company he booked the flight through to get some help, (he was used to calling a Travel Agent) but they actually “Laughed” at him, said they would not help him, that all purchases were final and they were under no obligation to help rebook his flight nor help him in any way.
If he had used his regular Travel Agent, he would have had his flight re-booked by the time he got off the plane, and had a hotel waiting for him, instead of having to sleep at the Airport.
These are real life examples of what happens when you don’t have an advocate behind you when you have to travel. A good Travel Agent will monitor you each step of the way and anticipate problems and find solutions that will minimize your inconvenience.
That’s what we do at Texas Cowboy Travel.